ASHA would like to share a resource developed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), American Occupational Therapy Association and American Physical Therapy Association for public and private insurers, employers, consumers, state regulators and other stakeholders to evaluate the appropriateness of rehabilitation and habilitation benefit design. The document Joint Habilitation/Rehabilitation Benefit Coverage Statement: Guide to Assessing Adequacy of Benefits outlines the principles that should be evaluated when determining whether an insurance product provides adequate coverage of habilitation and rehabilitation services and devices. Rehabilitation and habilitation address function, communication, participation, mobility, and engagement limitations that result from illness, injury, disability, or other conditions. Habilitation and rehabilitation benefits are cost effective, representing only 2% of the premium for a silver marketplace plan.

I also wanted to make you aware of ASHA’s guide Speech, Language, and Hearing Services: Essential Coverage of Habilitation and Rehabilitation. ASHA gave a presentation discussing the value of speech, language and hearing services to the Regulatory Task Force at the NAIC meeting last November in San Francisco where this guide was disseminated to regulators. The guide discusses steps that states can take to protect individuals needing medically necessary habilitative and rehabilitative services and devices.

If you have any questions or would like to further discuss the importance of habilitation and rehabilitation coverage, please do not hesitate to contact me or Daneen Sekoni, ASHA’s Director of Health Care Policy, Health Care Reform at 301-296-5651 or dsekoni@asha.org.